Posted tagged ‘passports’

“Life is an adventure, it’s not a package tour.”

July 22, 2017

When I woke up, the day was bright and sunny, but it isn’t any more. Clouds have blanketed the sky. The weatherman claims those clouds will be intermittent, but I’m skeptical. A little rain would be welcomed, forecasted or not.

The spawns of Satan have mounted a new assault. They are chewing my outside lights. The gate had a trail of white lights coming from the giant star near the back door. Last night I noticed the trail had gone dark. I checked and found chewed wires. On the deck rail, two sets of colored lights have been chewed. I found bulbs from the newest set laying on the deck, chewed off the wire. The spawns seem to like the red bulbs, cementing their Satan connection. What perplexes me is those lights have been untouched for a couple of years. I’m guessing there’s a new spawn in the neighborhood. The next set of colored lights is here, but I haven’t put it on the deck rail yet. I’ve ordered a new white set. It’s crazy I guess. I’m beginning to feel like Sisyphus.

I went to Russia in the 1970’s. My friend and I took a train from Helsinki to Leningrad. We were in the last car. When it got to the border, the car was uncoupled and joined to a Russian train. A Russian train lady boarded our car. She brought us tea over and over throughout the trip. In Leningrad I learned there were two lines for taxis, one for women and children and the other for the rest of us. At the hotel they asked for our passports. Visions of the KGB jumped int my head. When I refused, I was told no hotel room so I gave in. Yup, I gave in that quickly. We had a tour guide. In those days everyone had a tour guide. We liked her. She brought us to the Hermitage Museum. Women sat in chairs in every room at the Hermitage, and it was the same in every museum. They also sat at the bottom of escalators in every metro station and on every floor in the hotels where we stayed. We saw the Winter Palace and Peterhof and the Peter and Paul Fortress. We saw a memorial commemorating the Siege of Leningrad. On buses, the honor system was in effect. At the hotel, the food was terrible. We went to a few Beryozka shops, which no longer exist, where you could buy Russian goods for hard cash. We bought snacks and some beautiful small wooden figures.

When it was time to move to our next stop, we got a new guide. We didn’t like her. She told us nothing and didn’t answer questions. We then got on the train which the Frenchman, a fellow tourist, likened to a cattle car in France. We were on to stop 2, a city on the Volga whose name I can’t remember for good reason. The tours in that city included a dental school and a publishing plant where they gave us all sorts of Lenin material. It was the worst.

We had more adventures, but I’ll save those for another day. I will say we had a spy who was uncovered in Moscow.

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.”

May 28, 2016

My little nap seems to have done the trick. I fell asleep right away as the bedroom was still cool, and the outside world was quiet. The only sounds were from the chimes hanging off branches in the backyard and Gracie’s deep breathing. She had joined me for a nap. The two cats stayed downstairs for their naps.

Today is a perfect day. It is in the high 70’s, bright with sun and there’s a breeze to cool the air just a bit. We are 10 or 15 degrees cooler than Boston and a whole cooler than the western part of the state.

The deck is back to normal. All the furniture is in its usual place. Putting out the do-dads is all that’s left. When I say do-dads, I mean the rug, all the candles in the trees and on the tables, the window boxes, the flower pots, the prayer flags and the pictures for the wall. The shelf and the flower pots need to be repainted. I have new prayer flags and a couple of new strings of lights.

Yesterday while I was sitting in my car waiting for my friends, the wind blew, and I could see the pollen almost as dense as fog blowing off the tree. My car is covered in the greenish yellow pine pollen. I hate this season. When it gets hot, you don’t dare open windows as everything will be pollen covered. It’s like the harmattan in Ghana when the blowing wind brought dust from the Sahara, and it covered all the surfaces in my house. Dusting was a lesson in futility. It is the same with the pollen.

I drove my friends to the Logan airport bus because they were leaving for England early last evening. When I got home, the phone rang. It was Tony telling me Clare had left her pocketbook in the car, the pocketbook with the passports and plane tickets. Could I please hurry as the bus would be leaving in about 15 minutes, 10 minutes short of the drive. I drove like a maniac. The slowest I went was 75, and I cursed the car in front of me which kept me to that crawl. I swear G-force acceleration distorted my face. I drove into the lot and there they were, the last people. They smiled and threw their arms up when they saw my car. The driver was just putting the last piece of luggage in the bay. My timing was perfect. I handed them the handbag and Tony asked Clare if that was her bag. I wanted to say something sarcastic like I have 15 others you can choose from, but I figured it wasn’t the right time. Their gratitude was profuse. They immediately gave their luggage to the driver and got on the bus. Gracie and I went much slower on the ride home.